Department Chair:
F. Stephan Mayer

Administrative Assistant:
Joan Gleason

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8355
Fax: (440) 775-8356

Severance Laboratory
120 West Lorain
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: Academic Year - Monday through Friday - 8:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Summer Hours June to August - Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to Noon

William Friedman

William Friedman

Emeritus Professor of Psychology

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College, 1972
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Rochester, 1976

William Friedman received his B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College in 1972 and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in developmental psychology in 1977. Since coming to Oberlin in 1976, he has taught lecture and laboratory courses in developmental psychology, introductory psychology, the psychology of intelligence, and several interdisciplinary courses. He has sponsored numerous, varied student research projects in the area of developmental psychology. Friedman's primary research interests concern the psychology of time. He has conducted a series of studies on time concepts in children and adults, the processes underlying memory for the time of past events, and infants' perception of event sequences. All of this work has been conducted with student research assistants. Typically, about four students per semester work with Friedman in the local schools or preschools.From 1992 through 2000, he served as Chair of the Department of Psychology. Bill Friedman Adds Nature vs. Nurture to His Experimental Repertoire (Oberlin Online article)

Recent Publications

  • Friedman, W. J. (in press). Developmental perspectives on the psychology of time. S. Grondin (Ed.), The psychology of time, Elsevier.
  • Friedman, W. J. (in press). The meaning of “time” in episodic memory and mental time travel. Behavioral and Brain Science.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2007). Comment on “Potential role for adult neurogenesis in the encoding of time in new memories.” Hippocampus, 17, 503-504.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2007). The development of temporal metamemory. Child Development, 78, 1472-1491
  • Friedman, W. J. (2007). The role of reminding in long-term memory for temporal order. Memory and Cognition, 35, 66-72.
  • Friedman, W. J., & deWinstanley, P. A. (2006). The mental representation of countries. Memory, 14, 853-871.
  • Friedman, W. J., & Lyon, T. D. (2005). The development of temporal-reconstructive abilities. Child Development, 76, 1202-1216.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2005). Developmental and cognitive perspectives on humans' sense of the times of past and future events. Learning and Motivation, 36, 145-158.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2004). Time in autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 22, 605-621.
  • Bastin, C. Van der Linden, M, Michel, A., & Friedman, W. J. (2004). The effects of aging on location-based and distance-based processes in memory for time. Acta Psychologica, 116, 145-171.
  • Curran, T., & Friedman, W. J. (2004). ERP old/new effects at different retention intervals in recency discrimination tasks. Cognitive Brain Research, 18, 107-120.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2003). The development of children's understanding of the past and the future. In R. Kail (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior, V. 31 (pp. 229-269). San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2003). Arrows of time in early childhood. Child Development.
  • Curran, T., & Friedman, W. J. (2003). Differentiating Location- and Distance-Based Processes in Memory for Time: An ERP Study. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2003). Infants' perception of arrows of time. In H. Hayne & J. W. Fagen (Ed.s), Progress in Infancy Research, 3.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2002). Arrows of time in infancy: The representation of temporal-causal invariances. Cognitive Psychology, 44, 252-296.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2001). The development of an intuitive understanding of entropy. Child Development, 72.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2001). Memory processes underlying humans' chronological sense of the past. In C. Hoerl and T. McCormack (Ed.s), Time and Memory: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology (pp. 139-167). Oxford University Press.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2000). The development of children's knowledge of the times of future events. Child Development, 71, 913-932.
  • Friedman, W. J. (2000). Time in psychology. In P. J. N. Baert (Ed.), Time in Contemporary Intellectual Thought (pp. 295-314). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Friedman, W. J., & Kemp, S. (1998). The effects of elapsed time and retrieval on young children's judgments of the temporal distances of past events. Cognitive Development, 13, 335-367.
  • Friedman, W. J., & deWinstanley, P. A. (1998). Changes in the subjective properties of autobiographical memories with the passage of time. Memory, 6, 367-381.
  • Friedman, W. J., & Huttenlocher, J. (1997). Memory for the time of "60 Minutes" stories and news events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23, (3), 1-10.
  • Friedman, W. (1996). Distance and location processes in memory for the times of past events. In D. L. Medin (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, V. 35 (pp. 1-41). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
  • Friedman, W., Gardner, A. G., & Zubin, N. R. E. (1995). Childrens' comparisons of the recency of two events from the past year. Child Development, 66, 970-983.
  • Friedman, W. About time: Inventing the fourth dimension. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990.